Training for Researchers

The following document outlines research training requirements for individuals who conduct research at the University of Pittsburgh, including faculty, staff, and students. The University recognizes that academic research is substantively, procedurally, and administratively complex. The purpose of this training is not only to satisfy government and University of Pittsburgh policy requirements, but to enhance research activities at all stages. Our goal is to make training understandable and meaningful, while providing it as efficiently as possible. Constructive criticism about the training program is always welcome, and should be directed to rcco@pitt.edu.

Who must complete the training?

Anyone conducting  research* at the University of Pittsburgh is required to complete training prior to beginning the project, regardless of funding source.  Training requirements vary based on the nature of the research. While there are obvious differences in training requirements for those performing animal subject research and human subject research, there are requirements that may be applicable to all research.  Those requirements that cross domains are listed separately and should be reviewed closely.  

* For those in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, scholarly activities that meet the threshold to be considered research (primarily natural and social sciences) are when emphasis is on testing, verification, and use of empirical data.

Web-based Training

The University of Pittsburgh offers several training resources.  The two primary online training portals are: 

  • Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI)

The CITI training program is a leading global provider of online research ethics education. Many of the CITI courses qualify for continuing education credits (CMEs/CEUs) which can be purchased directly from CITI. To access the CITI training, individuals must log into the Pitt CITI access portal using a Pitt HSConnect username/password as it provides a database for University Departments and other systems to verify CITI training.  Detailed instructions are displayed on the Pitt CITI Portal login page at www.citi.pitt.edu. Questions should be directed to citi@pitt.edu.

  • Internet-based Studies in Education and Research (ISER)

The ISER web-based training site is comprised of a series of institutionally developed training modules to address particular training requirements. To access the ISER training modules, individuals must log into the ISER website available at https://cme.hs.pitt.edu using their Pitt HSConnect username/password.  Individuals can go to www.hsconnect.pitt.edu to create a new HSConnect account or to update their profile. It is important not to create duplicate accounts.  The HSConnect support team can be reached by calling (412) 648-2222.

All online training is logged and a record of training can be accessed on the HSConnect database by the trainee or School/Department Administrators as needed.  The on-line applications for animal studies (ARO) includes a display of training records for both CITI and ISER records.  The online application for human subjects research (OSIRIS) includes a display of CITI training records. 

  • Community Partner Research Ethics Training (CPRET)

The Community Partner Research Ethics Training (CPRET) and Certification is intended for community partners that are non-university employees who actively participate in research with human subjects (but will not be listed as a member of the research team in the IRB application). This course provides them with the opportunity to learn about conducting research that is ethical and safe. Email partners@hs.pitt.edu for more information.